Pacific Northwest

October, 2012
Regional Report

Prevent Sunscald

Wrap the trunks of newly planted and young trees to protect them from winter sunscald and from damage by mice, rabbits, and other animals. You can purchase plastic tree wraps or make your own out of corrugated plastic drainpipe that has been split lengthwise down the side. If bark-gnawing critters don't frequent your landscape, you can prevent sunscald by wrapping white cloth around the first 1-2 feet of the trunk. Secure the wrapped ends with several lengths of tape. Sunscald happens most often on thin barked trees like fruiting cherries and young maples.

Prep for Lawn Renovation

If you plan to aerate, de-thatch, or rototill (for total renovation), thoroughly soak the soil a day or two before you start your project, or wait to perform your project a day or two after a good rain.

Practice Good Garden Sanitation

Clean up your fruit tree and small fruit plantings by removing dead fruit and picking up fallen leaves. Dried fruits or mummies carry disease organisms through the winter which can attack next years' crop. To promote good plant health, a garden free of debris is essential.

Plant Cover Crops

When vegetables have finished producing, remove them from the garden and plant a cover crop to help discourage weeds and to help build the soil. Vetch or winter rye are good choices for cover crops in our growing region.

Plant Bulbs

A good design tip that also saves some digging is to plant bulbs in clusters or groups. Try placing 8 to 10 bulbs in a 1 foot wide hole about 1 inch apart from each other. This concentrates the blooms, giving you a stronger display of color. Late blooming daffodils can be planted with early blooming varieties to extend the floral show. This is done by planting 6 to 8 bulbs of a late variety, then placing the early variety bulbs in between.

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